by Don Jessen
This book has 320 pages of stunning photos and car descriptions, taken at some of New Zealand’s best private and public automobile collections.
Instead of just seeking out the public collections Don has enlisted the help of four friends who tracked down the private collections we are privileged to see here, along with a few others that are open to the public. The locations of the private collections are not stated.
Much credit for making the book the stunning visual feast it is goes to Marilyn Jessen who has taken most of the exquisite photos.
There are about 24 collections covered here and the variety and scope of these is vast, ranging from American muscle cars, through traditional English saloons and sports cars, to rare military vehicles, and a number of beautiful motorcycles. Each collection has an overview of what cars, or other vehicles, are included, then some are singled out for closer examination, with photos and mechanical details, and the vehicle’s history.
I was amazed at the number of very rare cars that are listed as New Zealand new vehicles, not specially imported. This really demonstrates the international motoring diversity that New Zealanders have enjoyed over the years, and I think that our remoteness, and need to keep vehicles on the road, has served to preserve many vehicles that in other places would be scrapped. Almost all of the vehicles have been restored to a very high standard, and this workmanship should also be a matter of pride to all Kiwis.
Some collections are confined to just one maker, but many are an eclectic mix showing the appreciation of the collector for all types of machinery.
This is a book not to be read quickly, but to be slowly browsed and each chapter savoured several times.
The page layout is landscape A4 instead of the more usual portrait mode, and this makes it easier to include bigger photos. The typeface chosen is clear and the whole book is beautifully presented. It would make a wonderful gift, and I can recommend it to all who have an interest in motoring.
Author: Don Jessen